How traveling across the country turned into a nonprofit.
I'm Jonte Desire, a University of Delaware alum, and my story to making Native Nourishment started when I was sixteen.
New Name, Same Mission
In August 2016, I volunteered on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana. I had amazing experiences throughout my time in Montana and made unforgettable memories with the people that I met. After I returned, I knew I wanted to do more to support Native communities, so I created a project called Meals for Miles that supported Indigenous people and raised awareness of food challenges within Indigenous nations. Through Meals for Miles, I held two donation drives for the Northern Cheyenne, donating over 900 food and clothing items, and raised awareness of Native food scarcity in my local community. Since then, I've continued to develop my passion and a new name, Native Nourishment.
Spreading the Word
I attended several leadership conferences, like the Jefferson Awards (now called Multiplying Good) Mid-Winter Conference, to better prepare to take on such an initiative and learn from other young leaders like myself. When I was chosen for an interview, I mentioned how I'd utilize the skills I learned at the conference to start my nonprofit, Native Nourishment, and continue to raise awareness of my organization and mission.
Food For Thought
Doing one food drive was not enough. Since August 2016, I've continued to research Indigenous food environments and challenges and further expand the services that my organization offers. The picture to the left is my first food donation to the Northern Cheyenne where I donated 274 food items, including organic fruit and vegetable seeds. This was only the beginning.